The following post is from the website connected to the Lancaster University research project I am involved with currently:
It’s a pleasure to be working on this project at Lancaster University, and extending some of the insights and skills gained from my PhD study into a different research context and with a great team of people. One of the things that really appeals to me about this project is its focus on the practices of knowledge creation: how knowledge is produced, maintained, and disseminated in the modern University, and what this can tell us about academics’ writing practices and broader academic professionalism. It unpacks the ‘secret’ workings of academic knowledge creation whose outputs tend to gloss the messiness and ephemerality of what went into them. I’m reminded of Bruno Latour, in his ethnography of Science, who claimed that laboratory work was Janus-like, i.e. with two contradictory faces: ‘ready-made’ scientific knowledge from the perspective of an older face which looks back at previous achievements; and scientific knowledge ‘in the making’ from the younger face which confronts knowledge controversies in the moment (see figure below). Academics’ writing also involves a kind of dual activity of surveying, compiling and critiquing existing knowledge, and then adding new perspectives, formulating new arguments from them, and subsequently new knowledges.
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